Our Friends the Saints
Tuesday was All Saints Day
One time I was convinced that if you put little fans on the ceiling inside subway tunnels you could use them like tiny windmills to make electricity when the train went past. Brilliant! I could be the change I wanted to see in the world.
Whenever I have a sciencey question, I ask my friend Dave. “Hey Dave, don’t you think it would be an incredible idea to put little windmills in the subway tunnels?!” He always receives the question graciously, and often follows up with “yeah, well, maybe a better question would be....”
This is how I think about the Saints. They’re good friends who meet us in our questions and our trials. They walk alongside us and help to guide us with the models of their holy lives. They can challenge and enlighten us. If I have a question about theology, I can look to my friend St Thomas Aquinas. If I have a question about teaching, I ask St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. About who I’m supposed to become? St Catherine of Siena.
When I was wishing there was a business planner that would both help me to form good Christian habits and hit my goals, I was reading St Catherine of Siena. “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!” That was clarifying - maybe I was the one who needed to make it. Dangit.
As I moved forward in this project and was trying to figure out how to mark out good habits for Christians, I asked my dad for help. (Fathers are good guides too). “Well,” he mused, “St. Thomas Aquinas said that the virtues are healthy habits.” That was enlightening – it was the virtues! They were what was missing!
If you read about our shed last week, you know that we lived in Maryland for a few years. When the time came to move, I was driving to our new home in Boston and stopped at the St Elizabeth Ann Seton shrine to pray for some friends. As I walked slowly through the woods in prayer, I felt my question of “should I start CappaWork?” shift to “how should I start CappaWork?” Even as I was interceding for my friends, this friend was interceding for me.
I like the Saints. They’re good friends who have gone before us and have dealt well with the trials, triumphs, and tribulations of life by drawing close to Christ. Their words and actions point us to Jesus and show a way to a more perfect union with Him. I can talk to them if I want, or I can go to their writing to see their thoughts. Like my friend Dave, the Saints help us ask better questions and clarify our answers as we walk the path of this life.
I wish you the magnanimous ambition of the Saints. I hope that your walk with Christ will be aided by their friendship and models of how to live a good life on the only path that matters. I also wish you some apple butter because it’s autumn and that stuff is delicious.
P.S. According to Dave, who is the smartest Dave I’ve ever met, my idea was only slightly less than brilliant. It turns out that adding windmills to the tunnels would make the trains work harder to push the air out of the way. That increase in work would negate the power made by my tiny windmills. The better question was “how do you make it easier for the air to get out of the way?” Dangit. But he still complimented my creativity! What a good friend.
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